THOMAS J. PRESTOPNIK
~ The Author's Official Website ~
_________________________________
Copyright © Thomas J. Prestopnik
2005 - 2014
All rights reserved.
www.TomPresto.com
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ORIGIN OF THE TIMEDOOR
Many people have asked me how I came up with the idea for The Timedoor
(Book I in the Endora Trilogy), so I thought a few words and pictures on the
subject would be a good idea (and hopefully a bit interesting too)!  It all started
with a simple walk.

In the autumn of 1984, I was home visiting for a weekend during my senior
year in college where I studied writing and literature, and decided to take a
walk one evening around my hometown of Little Falls, NY.  The Mohawk River
slices through our small city, and I found myself on the South Side, strolling
west on Jefferson Street along the Erie Canal.  At the end of the street loomed
the underside of the old 167-South Bridge which spanned both waterways.  A
set of cement stairs led to the highway above.
A set of cement stairs near the underside of the old 167-S Bridge in Little Falls,
NY. Photo taken from Jefferson Street on March 27, 2004.
As I approached the staircase on that cool, dry evening, the play of light upon
the water from a solitary street lamp nestled among leafy tree branches,
coupled with a mass of shadows skulking under the bridge, created in my mind
an ideal setting for a children's adventure story.  I had been contemplating ideas
for a novel to write after graduation in the spring, and this sudden burst of
inspiration spurred me on to contemplate writing a children's book.  I had
already penned several adult fiction books in high school and college as part of
the endless process of learning the craft, but this is the first time I had ever
seriously thought about writing a novel for children.
A street light near the old 167-S Bridge in Little Falls, NY. Photo taken from
Jefferson Street on January 30, 2005.
So why ignore a good idea when it taps you on the shoulder?  I developed a
rough plot and outlined the book, and by the end of the following year had
written
The Visitors In Mrs. Halloway's Barn.  And this area under the bridge
(which, by the way, appeared much more visually intriguing at nighttime than
during the day) inspired the location of the timedoor that Christopher and Molly
Jordan discovered on that cold, foggy Saturday at dawn.
The old 167-S Bridge spanning the Erie Canal. Photo taken from Jefferson
Street on March 27, 2004. The stairs (on the left) are not visible.
I tried marketing my work to several publishers, but after collecting a fistful of
rejection slips, I realized that my novel needed more work.  The original draft
eventually lingered in a file cabinet, deemed as merely a practice novel and a
stepping stone to other stories.

But the tale of the magical timedoor and the faraway kingdom of Endora
lingered on in the back of my mind too, and in the late 1990's I dug it out, dusted
it off and performed some major rewriting, preparing to cast the novel once
again into the ocean of literary agents and publishers, hoping for a bite.

During this same time the world of self-publishing was rapidly changing.  
Print-on-demand (POD) publishers were popping up and digital technology
dramatically reduced the costs for authors to publish their own works.  Eager to
retain control of the content and rights to my books, as well as being someone
who just prefers to do things his own way and in his own time, I decided to
self-publish.  
The Visitors In Mrs. Halloway's Barn arrived in the fall of 2000.
But that wasn't the end of the story.
The old 167-S Bridge spanning the Erie Canal. Photo taken from Jefferson
Street on March 27, 2004. The stairs (on the left) are not visible.
This was the original cover for The Visitors In Mrs. Halloway's Barn.
The book has since been republished under the new title
The Timedoor
(Book I in The Endora Trilogy).
I never had any intention or desire to write a sequel to this book and was eager
to get on with my next project,
Gabriel's Journey, a second children's novel that
had been languishing in a file cabinet which I resurrected, rewrote, polished up
and published in the spring of 2003.  But several people had asked me about a
sequel to
The Visitors In Mrs. Halloway's Barn and I thought about it off and on
until it engaged my own imagination.  My only problem was to find a logical way
to have the timedoor reopen.  After all, the magician Artemas had said that a
timedoor "
will open and close to a particular place only three times, then it is
gone forever
."  How could I overcome that hurdle which I had built for myself?

But after much thought I discovered that the seed for a second timedoor had
already been planted in the book.  There was a logical way to make it happen.
Perhaps my subconscious had been planning to write a sequel all along.  I'm
glad, because I truly enjoyed the creative process of expanding that storyline.

While writing the sequel titled
The Sword and the Crown, I decided that I would
republish
The Visitors In Mrs. Halloway's Barn under the new, less-wordy and
easier-to-remember title,
The Timedoor.  This would also allow me to develop
new cover art (created by my nephew Nathan Prestopnik) for each book.  Both
volumes were published in early 2005 as Books I and II in The Endora Trilogy. I
started writing Book III,
The Saving Light, in February 2006, and it was released
in the summer of 2007.
Clarence, a Wheaten Terrier, was the inspiration for the dog Magic in The
Sword and the Crown and The Saving Light. Both dogs are very fond of treats!
Ironically, as these books debuted in 2005, the very bridge that launched the
first book's twenty-year journey was being dismantled to make way for a brand
new bridge, the Dr. Bernard J. Burke Memorial Bridge, that now stands only a
few feet from the original.
Remains of the cement stairs underneath the old 167-S Bridge before being
dismantled later in 2005. One of the new bridge supports is visible in the
background. Photo taken from Jefferson Street on January 30, 2005.
The Dr. Bernard J. Burke Memorial Bridge in Little Falls, NY. Photo taken from
on the bridge (looking north) on March 5, 2009.
The Dr. Bernard J. Burke Memorial Bridge in Little Falls, NY. Photo taken from
on the bridge (looking south) on March 5, 2009. The cement staircase shown in
some of the above photos was located on the left side of the bridge below near
the lower right section of the snowy patch.